Busyness v Stillness
Chaotic v Calmness
Stress v Peace
Agitation v Tranquility
Noise v Quietness
As I sat with Jude with our feet overhanging a cliff overseeing the beauty of God's creation all around us in the East Coast Mountains, the stillness and quietness reminded me; I can not be the person I should be without times of quietness.
As we look at the life of Jesus in the four biographies (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we see that God in human flesh continually planned, sought out times of quietness, alone-ness, away from the crowds. We are reminded: We will not become the person God wants us to become without solitude.
How has this annual all-church month of August of rest, satisfaction and inspiration going for you?
I am concerned that we slow down, quiet down and gear down our lives so that daily and weekly we carve out time for quietness, solitude, thought, prayer, meditation, and soul searching.
Oh, how much frustration will begin to fade away . . .
How insignificant petty differences will seem . . .
How big God will become and how small our troubles will appear!
Satisfaction, security, peace, confidence and inspiration will move right on in.
This is what Isaiah, the prophet, meant when he wrote:
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace,
Its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
Then My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, and in secure homes, and in undisturbed places of rest. Isa 32:17–18
God's still, small voice will never shout. God's methods do not change. He is longing for your attention, your undivided and full attention. He wants to talk with you in times of quietness about your need for understanding, love, compassion, patience, self-control, a calm spirit, genuine humility, and wisdom. He will wait and wait until you finally sit in silence and listen.
Seeking quietness daily and weekly,
As we seek to refresh, revive, re-kindle our souls during the month of August, how is Jesus doing this in you? How is He helping you rest? How is He helping you be satisfied? How is He helping you be inspired?
What Living Words from the Bible are capturing you?
What relationships are breathing life into you?
What experiences are you intentionally seeking out that bring about these results?
When was the last time you read, thought through and pondered Jesus' words in Luke 9:23-24?
Jesus taught, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it."
If you are serious about following Jesus, these two life habits are not suggestions.
First, "deny your self daily."
How are you denying things, time, experiences, wants and desires? Is this becoming easier for you? Or doesn't this even cross your mind?
Second, "taking up your cross daily."
What does this mean? Jesus picked up His cross, carried it, layed down on it and died on it. Why? To serve others. To love others. To rescue others.
Do you daily seek to serve, love, rescue others?
Do you seek to serve others to the extent that you deny yourself?
Are you following Jesus daily?
Are you becoming more and more generous with your resources, time, money, energy to give to others?
As we intentionally "deny ourselves" and "pick up our cross" on a daily basis, verse 24 becomes a real experience. And life becomes truly worth living.
Seeking to daily deny self and pick up the cross together,
The Pastor and one of his daughter’s ponder...
How important is time off, time away, vacation, recreation?
What is your plan for this?
God created the world in six days, and then He rested on the seventh. He set an example of the life we should live as His followers: work hard and then rest hard.
Read, re-read and deeply think through God’s message to you in Exodus 20:8-11.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded not to work on the Sabbath—not even collect the bread that God provided during the exodus—so that their dependence on God through rest would be a testament of God’s provision for them to the surrounding, watching nations.
But this call to rest is NOT a call to be lazy. In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus calls all who are burdened and heavy laden to find rest in Him. We are to pick up His yoke (possibly a metaphor for one person’s relationship to another) and learn from Him and join in His work.
It is a call to leave our own ways of trying to earn God’s favor, and recognizing that it is through Christ alone that we are made right and able to have a relationship with the God of the universe! So true rest is found in spending time away from human made means for earning money or favor, and choosing to have a fresh encounter with Jesus. During this fresh encounter with Jesus, He loves to re-create our souls, our hearts, our minds and our bodies. He wants us fully energized and alive in Him in order to give all of what He gave us away. Then re-create us again.
If rest means having a fresh encounter with Jesus, we are called to rest daily, weekly, monthly and yearly in different ways.
When we take time to rest in a fresh encounter with God, we will be able to have fresh encounters with both Christians and those far from Christ in deeper and more meaningful ways.
Letting The Soul Re-creator refresh our souls together,
Pastor Chris & Anikka
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.